by David A. Osage, P.E., ASME Fellow / Jul 20, 2003

An overview of API 579 Recommended Practice For Fitness-For-Service [1] is presented in this paper. This document was initially released in January of 2000 and since that time has become the de facto international fitness-for-service standard for the refining and petrochemical industry. Insights into the driving force to create API 579 and the activities of an MPC Joint Industry Project to initiate development of the new FFS technologies included in this publication are discussed. A detailed overview of API 579 is then given that covers applicability of the FFS assessment procedures, overall organization, the general assessment methodology used for all flaw and damage types, options for different assessment levels, remaining life and rerating issues, and the relationship with other existing FFS codes and standards. A discussion of the changes planned for the next release of API 579, efforts to validate the fitness-for-service technology incorporated in API 579, and a discussion of a new API document pertaining to damage mechanisms and the relationship to a fitness-for-service assessment are provided. Plans for a joint API and ASME standard and future directions of the API in-service inspection codes relative to API 579 and equipment integrity are also covered.

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